Ghana needs ‘political economists’ not economists – Dr. Tony Aidoo

Dr. Tony Aidoo says the contribution of “political economists” cannot be overlooked in efforts to put Ghana’s  economy back on track.

According to the man appointed by the president to head Ghana’s Mission in the Netherlands, Economists, most of whom have been appointed by successive governments  to run the economy have done a poor job at it.

“For Ghana to progress, we need the inputs of political economists not economists. The dynamics of the economy can never be understood by these economists who deal with figures and so on and so forth…”

“It’s never about the numbers; it’s about the relationship that creates the numbers,” the former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the presidency affirmed.

Dr. Aidoo made the comments on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Monday, while discussing the state of the economy ahead of president John Mahama’s State of the Nation Address to Parliament scheduled for Tuesday, February 25.

Analysts have criticised government’s handling of the economy despite improvements in macroeconomic indicators and an enduring political stability. International ratings agencies – Fitch and Moody’s – have all downgraded Ghana from a B+ to B.

But Dr. Tony Aidoo says the Economists lack the understanding of the changing trends of the Ghanaian economy and therefore cannot proffer the requisite solutions that will enable it overcome current challenges.

He said for 56 years the country has been operationg the same model of economic growth and development and now Ghanaians want President John Mahama to change all that in one year.

Living beyond our means
 However, Policy Analyst, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby is worried at the inability of government to minimise borrowing as well as the growing overrun on government budget.

The Chief Policy Analyst at Ghana Institute of Public Policy Options (GIPPO) therefore says the government must institute measures to “balance the budget”.

“The overrun on the budget is now going to be even bigger than was estimated…Why do we always want to live beyond our means,” he asked.

According to him, the president has failed to fix challenges facing the economy making reference to the huge fall in the value of the local currency, the Ghana Cedi.

“A lot of people think that the problem with the cedi has just happened but it is not true. If you go from February of last year to January 30, [2014] … the cedi lost 25% of its value. If you look at it today…you’re now talking about 30-35% loss.

“So by that most important significant indicator, we cannot be doing well if our currency is losing so much value. So that measure of stability of our currency for me must remain the most important thing that should give indications as to whether our economy is performing well or not performing well,” he argued.

Tarzan as he is also called concludes: “On that measure, at 34% reduction [of the cedi] under one year of Mahama’s presidency, I don’t think he’s done well”.

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